Ministering to Grieving People

In moments of shared grief, how will you respond?

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In the U.S., a person dies every 12 seconds. That person may have been someone’s grandfather, sister, high school teacher, or best friend. Inevitably, they’ll leave behind a hurting family, a devastated community, or a grieving congregation—people looking for support, assurance, and hope.

Despite its inescapability, we live in a culture that is uncomfortable with death. The most common reactions to grieving people are mixed and rarely helpful—from “they’re in a better place now” to “it’s time to move on."

Led by Dr. Don Eisenhauer, you’ll be able to work through this course at your own pace.

What You'll Learn

  • The reality of grief in everyday life—even when we try to avoid it
  • Key differences between grief and mourning
  • How to use coaching skills as a way of ministering
  • The importance of story in the bereavement process
  • How to provide space and time for mourning without becoming disconnected
  • What creating an “End of Life Safe” church is all about

About this Course

  • Modules


  • Learning Elements

  • Videos


  • Practices & Activities

  • Time

5 hours, 30 minutes

  • Price


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Here's What's Inside...

In this first self-guided session, you’ll become more familiar with the realities of grief—including how it’s viewed within our culture as well as in many churches. You’ll also learn the key differences between grief and mourning.

Even though you may have experienced how easy this is to get wrong, your second session will teach four important ways of getting it right. You’ll learn how to provide a safe place for grieving people, when to use coaching skills, how best to provide assurance, and what riding the rollercoaster of grief looks like.

This third session provides a framework for walking through grief with another person—instead of pushing them through it or getting stuck there. You’ll learn the power of shared stories, the importance of time, ways to celebrate growth, and tools for discovering their new normal.

Zooming out from one-on-one relationships, your final self-guided session tackles the bigger questions of what a ministry to grieving people looks like when everyone is involved. That work includes everything from handling congregational losses to support groups and ongoing follow-up. In order to be end-of-life safe, the realities of grief can’t be avoided.

You'll Learn How to Cultivate Community

This workshop will help you cultivate community by improving your skills in deep listening, pastoral care, and the formation of life-giving relationships even in difficult circumstances.

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Here's everything you get for just $55:

  • Four 60-minute webcasts (4 contact hours)
  • Experiments and assignments to try in context
  • A safe space to learn and grow
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Meet Your Instructor

  • Dr. Don Eisenhauer

    Dr. Don Eisenhauer is the founder and president of Coaching at End of Life, LLC. In addition to doing end-of-life coaching and leading grief support groups, Dr. Eisenhauer served for 15 years as a pastor, having been ordained in the United Church of Christ, and he served for 19 years as a Hospice Chaplain and Bereavement Coordinator for a Hospice in Pennsylvania. An Eastern Pennsylvania native, he holds both a Doctorate of Ministry and a Masters of Divinity. He is certified in Critical Incident Stress Management and Clinical Pastoral Education, and is the author of several books, including “Coach Yourself Through Grief.” Dr. Eisenhauer currently lives in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania with his wife, Sue. They are parents of an adult daughter, Jane, who resides in the Boston area.

Connect as you learn

Connect inside the Faith+Lead Learning Lab

Learning happens best when you do it together with folks who are on the same journey as you are.

That's why our private social network, the Faith+Lead Learning Lab, hosts conversations about course content with other learners, instructors, TAs, and community leaders.

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Give yourself the gift of reflection and renewal this Advent